Environmental management plan


Person holding a lightbulb, around illustrations related to the environmental issue

The Business Environmental Management Plan (PGAE) is a tool that allows to improve, in an organized way, the environmental performance of the CNFL; since it guides and prioritizes the attention of all significant environmental aspects, which have been identified in the different activities and productive processes of the company.

The PGAE is aligned with the CNFL's strategic objective: "To promote the creation of value by implementing a comprehensive sustainability model." And with the Environmental Policy of the CNFL and allows compliance with the provisions of Decree No. 36499-S-MINAET "Regulations for the preparation of institutional environmental management programs in the public sector of Costa Rica."

In addition, it is consistent with the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, promoted by the UN, as follows:

PURPOSE CNFL PLAN Program / activity
Image with a six and the Clean Water and Sanitation phase Business Environmental Management Plan

Comprehensive Water Management Program.

Farm PAS Program (Sustainable Environmental Practices).

Nursery production.

Finca Sustainability and Energy.

Environmental Training Program.

Image with a twelve and the phrase Responsible Consumption and Production

Waste Management Program.

Management of Chemical Substances and Dangerous Products Program.

Purchasing and Environmental Monitoring Program.

Rational use of paper program.

Environmental Training Program.

Image with a thirteen and the Climate Action phase

Carbon Neutrality Program.

Energy Efficiency Program.

Image with a fifteen and the Life phase of terrestrial ecosystems

Ecosystem Conservation Program.

Environmental Training Program.

The PGAE is composed of the environmental programs described below:

• C - Neutrality

• Comprehensive Water Management

• Waste management

• Chemical Substances Management

• Purchasing and Environmental Monitoring

• Conservation of Ecosystems

• Rational use of paper

• Environmental Training Program.

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C-Neutrality Program

C-Neutrality Program

The C-Neutrality Program of the CNFL seeks to measure and disseminate, in a transparent manner, the emissions generated in the company's operating processes and be managed responsibly according to the different emission sources.

Graph showing the CNFL carbon footprint per year.

Key years to obtain C-Neutrality Recognition

The CNFL has made efforts to achieve a reduction in emissions, as can be seen in the previous graph, however, it is important to mention that there are external factors that affect the carbon footprint data year after year, such as the case of the factor used to calculate the source of electrical energy consumption, which can increase or decrease the footprint considerably. This emission factor is calculated according to the production of electrical energy at the national level and other variables not controlled by the organizations (The emission factor is officialized annually by the National Meteorological Institute).

The CNFL achieved its objective of being a C-Neutral company in 100% of its operations in 2014 onwards, to date we reiterate the commitment to maintain said certification granted by the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE) within the Program Country Carbon Neutrality 2.0 Official of the Government of Costa Rica. In this year 2021, the external verification of the 2019 and 2020 inventories will be carried out.

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The CNFL executes a series of actions to reduce the emissions generated in its operational processes, among which are:

Forest representing the hectares of carbon sinks

The CNFL has a multidisciplinary team of internal verifiers, who annually identify opportunities for improvement within the C-Neutrality Program, prior to the verification process carried out by a competent Validation and Verification Body (OVV). In the year 2021, the internal verification was carried out from April 26 to 30.

All the actions framed within the C-Neutrality Program allow offering environmental benefits to Costa Rican society, to the company's stakeholders and at a more macro level, in reducing the planet's carbon as such.

The development of the program allows the company to be in accordance with the national policies of decarbonization of the economy and the international commitments acquired by our country in the Climate Change Summits.

As part of the commitment and actions developed by the CNFL, removals in forest sinkholes located in the company's conservation areas are calculated. Forests are constituted by their nature and by the processes they develop, in one of the most important sinkholes on the planet and the CNFL has invested in the acquisition and conservation of approximately 2217,62 ha under forest cover.

The quantification of the inventory of forest removals required the development of a robust methodology at a technical level, considering all the necessary elements to adequately estimate the total amount of CO2 removed. To quantify the removals, permanent measurement plots were established distributed within the company's properties, considering the life zone and the type of forest (primary and secondary). For the year 2020, the inventory of forest removals quantified a total of 24558,85 TonCO2e.

Forest for measurement

Permanent Measurement Plots, Daniel Gutiérrez Hydroelectric Plant.

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Image with the text: Integral Water Management Program

Integral Water Management

The program arises with the objective of reducing the company's drinking water consumption and implementing improvement opportunities that reduce the quantity and cost of this vital resource.

Historical annual consumption of drinking water, CNFL

Graph of drinking water consumption by the CNFL per year

In the previous graph you can see the total consumption in cubic meters that the company has registered since 2008 to date. These records allow you to know your situation and make timely decisions to manage this resource. When comparing the annual consumption of drinking water registered in 2008, with respect to the annual consumption of 2020; It is observed that the CNFL has managed in twelve years to reduce the consumption of drinking water by 66,13%.

This reduction is due to the implementation of improvements, directed at activities for the use of rainwater (water harvesting) in the following locations: Transport and Workshop Area, Transformers Laboratory, Central Valley Wind Farm, Sustainability Farm, Infrastructure Improvements Area Civil, Plantel Uruca and Taller Anonos.

Image showing a tank for collecting rainwater

Rainwater harvesting projects (water harvest), Valle Central Wind Power Plant.

Among the measures that have been implemented within the program are:

• Placement of approximately 185 double discharge devices.

• Establishment of a treatment system for industrial water produced during crane washing and in the Anonos workshop.

• Installation of 12 filtering and disinfection systems to make water from springs located in hydroelectric plants drinkable.

• Placement of 16 pressure regulators in the inlet pipe of meters.

• Water saving devices in the company's sinks and sinks.

Image of a double discharge device for toilets

Double discharge device for toilets.

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Image showing: Waste Management Program

Waste Management Program

The CNFL, in compliance with the current Environmental Legislation (Law for the integral management of waste N ° 8839), carries out an integral, safe and environmentally responsible management of 100% of the waste generated in the different activities of the company in order to minimize the negative effects on the environment.

By 2020, the CNFL, through the Materials Transfer Center, managed and finally disposed of a total of 1kg of waste: recyclables, iron and other metals, solids contaminated with hydrocarbons, used oil, ceramics, among others.

Graph showing total waste from January to December 2017

Image of a crane handling waste at the Materials Transfer Center

Waste Management Process at the Materials Transfer Center.

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Image with the text: Management Program for the Conservation of Ecosystems

Management Program for the Conservation of Ecosystems

This program seeks to manage the conservation of ecosystems in the areas where the CNFL operates, executing the measures established to prevent the affectation of wildlife. Among the measures are:

Biological monitoring in conservation areas of power generation plants.

In the conservation areas of the CNFL, nine taxonomic groups are monitored since 2009 to date, a number of terrestrial and aquatic wildlife species of great biological value have been registered for their ecosystem services and are indicators of the status of conservation. The representative percentages of these registered groups are shown below, in comparison with their distribution at the national level.

As can be seen in the following graph, the conservation areas owned by the CNFL are very diverse, in terms of national representation, with the taxonomic groups: avifauna and reptiles being the groups with the greatest representation, hence the care that the company invests in these areas, of vital importance for the country for its biodiversity.

Graph of national representativeness of Wildlife

Registration of terrestrial wild fauna:

• 393 species of birds. For example: Yellow Chest (Pitangus sulphuratus).

• 45 species of mammals. For example: Guatusa (Dasyprocta punctata).

• 86 species of reptiles. For example: Garrobo (Ctenosaura similis).

• 36 species of bats. For example: Artibeo of Jamaica (Artibeus jamaicensis).

• 34 species of amphibians. For example: Shorty Frog (Agalychnis callidryas).

Danta captured with the phototrapping camera, PH Cote

Danta Tapirus bairdii captured with the camera of phototraping, Cote Hydroelectric Plant, 2014

Registration of aquatic wild fauna:

• 86 families of aquatic macroinvertebrates. For example: tricopters of the genus Leptonema sp.

• 45 species of freshwater fish. For example: beaked sardine fish (Bramocharax bransfordii).

• 10 species of shrimp. For example: shrimp (Macrobrachium heterochirus).

• 4 species of crab. For example: Crab (Potamocarcinus magnus).

Action measures implemented to prevent affectation of wildlife.

To prevent electrocution in the electrical network:

• 46 Tree Fauna Passes.

• 1755 anti-scaling devices.

It shows a monkey that uses the passage of fauna placed in the Lower Balsa PH

Use of the fauna passage placed in the Lower Balsa Hydroelectric Plant

To prevent abuse and feeding: 

• Demarcation of 27 wildlife silhouettes on the street in vulnerable areas and remarking of others that had faded.

• 38 informative signs of NOT feeding wild and domestic fauna and animals crossing, even those that had been damaged were changed.

Silhouette of wildlife painted on the street in PH Electriona

Silhouette of wildlife in the street, Electriona Hydroelectric Plant.

To prevent collision with windows:

• 1942 Silhouettes of birds approximately placed in windows in generation plants and schools.

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Image with the text: Sustainable Purchases Program

Purchasing and Environmental Monitoring

The objective of this program is to carry out environmentally responsible acquisitions and purchases. It attends to significant environmental aspects, such as: paper consumption, material consumption, product and chemical consumption consumption, precursor substance consumption, sulfuric acid consumption, electrical material consumption, product and chemical storage storage, cylinder storage.

Green label with the symbol of sustainable purchases

• Improve environmental practices.

• Cost reduction and improvement in resource efficiency.

• Environmental benefits such as the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, reduction of air pollution, reduction in the generation of waste, reduction in the use of water, energy and raw materials, among others.

The CNFL has documented information to comprehensively consider environmental, occupational health and safety and energy efficiency criteria, both for purchases, services or projects.

The sustainable purchasing program in 2020 trained a total of 75 workers on the subject of sustainable purchasing. During 2020, environmental criteria were included in 43 posters for the purchase of goods and / or services of the company. Additionally, 284 contracted company officials were trained in environmental management and 27 companies were assisted in environmental training processes.

Image of a person holding an incandescent light bulb in his right hand and a led luminaire in his left hand

Use purchase criteria to make more sustainable acquisitions

We collaborated in the nationalization of the sustainable purchasing norm (INTE - ISO 20400).

In the CNFL both for the training processes and for the updates of the company manual, important elements of the "Manual for the implementation of Green Purchases in the Public Sector of Costa Rica" of CEGESTI have been incorporated; and the "Sustainable Public Procurement Guide" of the Ministry of Finance.

Rational use of paper program

By 2021 this initiative became a specific program of the PGAE. In 2020, the CNFL implements the Zero Paper Directive, which promotes actions to be implemented in the document management process, optimization of the use of technological tools and awareness for a change in culture that allows less use of paper in the internal company processes.

As part of the activities carried out to reduce paper consumption, the following are presented:

• As a result of the guideline and the campaign, in 2020 it was possible to save a total of 1134 reams of paper, equivalent to a saving of 28,14% compared to the consumption of 2019, allowing to save approximately 74 trees.

• The use of stickers or decals is implemented to raise awareness among workers regarding the relationship between the use of paper and the amount of trees consumed by that use.

Printer with the sticker of the campaign of rational use of paper

Printer with the sticker of the campaign of rational use of paper

The paper saving campaign is important because for each ton of recycled paper it: avoids the felling of 17 trees, saves 15 cubic meters of water, avoids the emission of 5 tons of CO2.

Image showing a ream of paper

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Image with text: Chemicals and Hazardous Products Management Program

Chemicals and Hazardous Products Management Program

The objective of this program is to carry out a safe and environmentally responsible management of the chemical substances and dangerous products used in the CNFL.

Image that shows the different labels to represent chemical substances

To this end, each year the safe and environmentally responsible management of the sites that use and store chemical substances and dangerous products in the company's production processes is verified (Chemical Regency).

By 2020 the chemical regency has been implemented in 18 work centers, other important achievements of the program are:

training in management issues for 152 CNFL workers, updating 65 safety data sheets, and inspected 13 communication nodes of the company for compliance with national legislation.

Warehouse of flammable products and hydrocarbons of PH Belén

Warehouse of Inflammable Products and Hydrocarbons of Hydroelectric Plant Belén.

Some vital and priority activities of the program are:

• The chemical products used in the different CNFL processes are verified to ensure that the chemical composition is the most desirable in environmental and human health terms.

• Existence of a list of prohibited chemical substances to guarantee the health of the worker in the CNFL, based on contributions from the International Cancer Research Center (IARC) and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). Such as: prohibition of the use of chlorine as a cleaning agent, and the elimination of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) from the company.

• Work is done on the attention of spills of chemical substances such as corrosive products or hydrocarbons. The latter with greater attention due to the CNFL's distribution network that has transformers with dielectric oil. The objective is to reduce the contamination of the soil and water, product of the incident.

• In 2020, a total of 13 spills due to dielectric and hydraulic oil were dealt with. This attention avoids further contamination of water bodies and soil.

Collaborators of CNFL, SA attend a spill of dielectric oil

Attention of oil spill dielectric.

Other activities:

• Work is done on public health issues in the control of vectors (mosquitoes), product of the accumulation of water in the underground electrification chambers, applying a product for eradication as an environmentally responsible practice. In addition, solutions are sought for the management of sewage.

• Solutions are sought in conjunction with the medical office in aspects of quality of life with health surveillance protocols, such as with field personnel who apply agrochemicals within the company's facilities.

A test tube used in vector control is shown

Work in the underground network process with vector control

Contact Information

  • Address:

    5 Avenue, 1 and 0 Street, Central Offices, San José, Costa Rica

  • Telephone:

    (506) 2295-5000 / Monday to Friday from 7 am to 6 pm

  • Ext:

    10026-1000 San José, Costa Rica

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